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A perfect deal from A to Z
November 2008
by David Hutton  |  Email the author
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SOLANA BEACH, Calif.—When officials at Advalytix wanted to add a commercial DNA extraction kit to add to its growing product line, the company looked toward ZyGEM Corp. Ltd. for the chemistry to power its latest addition.

Under terms of the agreement, Advalytix will market private-label DNA extraction products based on ZyGEM's temperature-controlled extraction technology. The kits are designed to work with Advalytix's single-cell molecular diagnostics and its miniaturized diagnostic and biological tests for research and development. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

According to Paul Kinnon, CEO of ZyGEM, the agreement is a win-win proposition for both companies.

"They are a very progressive company," he says. "This deal will give us a distribution network in the Northern Hemisphere."

Kinnon says ZyGEM brings to the partnership its DNA extraction technology, which uses a proprietary, thermophilic enzyme to extract DNA from samples using a single closed-tube system.

"We are using the unique characteristics of our enzymes and technology to improve DNA extraction so that our customers can carry out their work more efficiently," notes Kinnon.

According to Kinnon, ZyGEM's temperature-controlled DNA extraction technology offers advantages that are especially relevant as demand for DNA analysis continues to increase.

ZyGEM's kits can conduct DNA extractions in a single closed tube, which speeds sample preparation time and increases ease of preparation, says Kinnon. With a focus on single-cell molecular analysis, Advalytix officials saw ZyGEM's technology as a perfect fit for its new extraction kit.

Frank Feist, executive director of the Advalytix business, Olympus America, says the company is marketing DNA extraction products based on ZyGEM's temperature-controlled extraction technology. The kits are designed to work with Advalytix's single-cell molecular diagnostics and its miniaturized diagnostic and biological tests for research and development.

Feist says the agreement enables his company to add a cell extraction kit based on the ZyGEM chemistry to its line that can provide its customers with the technology that will enable them to conduct analyses and experiments more simply, rapidly, accurately and cost effectively.

"We have a platform that is extremely sensitive and allows researchers to gain genetic information from just a single cell," he says. "The key determinant of how good the data is is how good the extration is. We found by using ZyGEM's kit, we could improve the quality of amplification."

Feist points out that Advalytix became a part of the Olympus family through an acquisition. He also notes that while the company uses Olympus imaging as part of its workflow for quality control in single-cell analysis, there is no direct link between the ZyGEM DNA extraction kit and imaging products offered by Olympus.

"One piece of the puzzle is the ZyGEM extraction kit because we use it at the front end to improve genetic data," says Feist. "Another piece of the puzzle is the Olympus microscopes. We use them to verify correct placement of single cells. When we look at results of a reaction after the reaction, we know that the cell was there at the outset. In existing workflows that scientists use today, it is actually extremely difficult to verify that a single cell was there at the beginning of the reaction." DDN
 
Code: E110809

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